Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker - page 6

by WillowBrook | 74,072 Views | 150 Comments

Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Exactly - so if a person truly is in pain, then they should not have to be concerned about appearing to be a drug seeker. If they are worried about that - then I have to be at least a little suspicious.
    This comment just shows one of the reasonings that people are worried about it. That there are others out there who judge them because they ARE in pain and have been in pain multiple times and haven't suffered quietly. That they have attempted to get the treatment they deserve for their pain has lead so many people to be unfairly branded as drug seekers.

    I have a different take on it. To me, and of course there is always the exception, if a person looks to be in extreme pain AND is worried about being a drug seeker, it signals that they aren't being treated adequately and need something now to ease the pain. Then they need to talk with their PCP about a different approach to have stave off attacks.

    Quote from gauge14iv
    What is a shame - truly - is that people even NEED to be worried about being taken seriously, ......
    This just sums it all up for me.

    tvccrn
    tsalagicara likes this.
  2. 1
    QUOTE: "The idea of a letter is terrific, leave it to medic to come up with the right idea."

    Thanks...
    I only came up with the idea bc my wife is a chronic pain sufferer (migraines) and we do everything we can to avoid the ER. Sometimes it's just unavoidable though.

    vamedic4
    getting ready for a nap
    tsalagicara likes this.
  3. 0
    all patients pain should be addressed .we shouldnot judge people.but we are human too.its shame people worry about appearing as drug seeeker when all they want is pain relief .but not all pain ,as we all know ,needs to be treated with narcs there are a range of drug options avail.even drug addicts need ppain releif however if someone has chronic pain issues they should have a med plan developed for them by their pcp .of course adjustments will need to be made and emergencies do occur .the other issue is some people don't see md's and use er as primary care .so it is a complicated issue .and there is a diff .b/w dependence and addiction .my dad had neuropathy severe d/t diabetes and was on pain meds narc and other to control his pain ,even used tens,but he was reluctant to take the meds d/t side effects.i also have had severe pain d/t diverticulitis requiring 2 trips to er both ended with hospital admissions and i know what meds work for me and what doesn't and i tell them .i am also fortunat to have wonderful dr's.
  4. 0
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Someone who wasn't a drug seeker wouldn't even be concerned about this.

    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
  5. 0
    Quote from Gussiegoose
    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
    Yep that's exactly what it sounds like .

    Here's hoping the OP gets care from kind, nondismissive professionals if and when they need it.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Aug 31, '06
  6. 0
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Someone who wasn't a drug seeker wouldn't even be concerned about this.

    I disagree! I had a kidney stone earlier this year, and had 10/10 pain, vomiting, elevated BP/HR/R, the whole nine yards. I was given toradol + phenergan...didn't do a thing but make me drowsy...still in the same pain, still vomiting. No change after the second dose. After a bit they gave me something else (don't recall, was either demerol or dilaudid) Knocked the pain (and me) right out.

    So now I am concerned that if it ever happens again I will either have to be inappropriately medicated for an hour until the other drugs prove ineffective, or look like a drug seeker when I say, "Um, the only thing that worked was something that started with a "D"." Tell me that won't get me a special note in my chart!

    So be careful not to judge too quickly. I am not a drug seeker under normal conditions, but that pain made a true believer out of me...I would slap your granny to get drugs under those conditions!
  7. 0
    Belfry's situation underscores the need to have someone with you who can help you to explain what is going on...a husband, wife, parent or significant other. In many cases, someone who can tell staff how things are affecting you can help you in your quest for releif.

    And yes, even those patients with pain specialists, neurologists, et cetera DO WORRY about being perceived as "drug seeking". To say that they don't worry about it is naive at best. They worry that they won't be treated, they worry that staff say things like "oh, she's just here for a fix"...occasionally when I have to take my wife to the ER, I have overheard this...mostly from nursing staff. The docs are less worried or judgemental, one call to the pain management doctor at 0200 is enough to defer any questions about her need.
    As if it weren't enough that the entire family is there at 0200 on a school night???

    Again, people are individuals and should be dealt with on an individual basis.

    Workin' workin' workin' again tonight
    vamedic4
  8. 0
    Quote from Gussiegoose
    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
    Yes, which is exactly why I identified myself as a former Heroin addict in my initial post ....don't you think if I was trying to get information on how to appear legit so I could scam drugs I would have left that particular piece of history out of the equation
  9. 0
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Exactly - so if a person truly is in pain, then they should not have to be concerned about appearing to be a drug seeker. If they are worried about that - then I have to be at least a little suspicious.
    Not so true in my case. I had undiagnosed esophageal spasm for 25 YEARS! I woudl go to the er in so much pain I was sure I was having a heart attack. After years of taking NSAIDs for spinal pain. I finally realized these things were often triggering the esophageal pain. I found a GI doc who treated me for the spasm and told me to stay off the NSAIDs. When I had to go to the ER for severe spinal pain (2 ruptured discs) I explained I could not take NSAIDs. The nurse, in front of me, told the MD when he came in that I was "allergic" to NSAIDs and then rolled her eyes. I tried to stop her and say I wasn't allergic but sensitive. In the end, they gave me iv toradol, which did indeed take away the back pain, but it sent me into the worst esophageal spasm EVER -- so much so I was sure I was going to die right there. I read later that GI irritation, even when given iv, is a side effect. So they ended up having to give me morphine to stop the severe pain they caused. All because they thought I was lying and a seeker. 25 years of trying to find relief from the pain certainly gave me insight to what works and what does not.
  10. 0
    Quote from Cyndee, MSN, NP
    HA HA HA HA! You are describing so many of my pain management patients. I see this crap all the time, they'll even come in with a police report stating someone robbed them and took that meds! I just write them a script for a clonidine taper and tell them this will keep them out of withdrawal until they can get another refill. I just discharged someone today because I suspected she was abusing her meds...turned out I was right on the money...she tested positive for benzo's and oxycodone, but she was only being prescribed methadone. When she told me that she was getting the other meds from another doc, I showed her the contract she signed stating that WE were the only ones allowed to prescribe a controlled substance!!! She has 45 days to find another physician. I LOVE busting the losers!
    You're a good woman. I am pretty sure that chronic pain management wouldn't be for me.

    We have one of the pain management docs in town that does some occasional ER moonlighting. I have seen him discharge patients from his practice in the ER for violating their pain management contract. You should see their faces when he walks into their room.

    We are fortunate to have computer access to other system hospitals. So when we pull someone up, we can see when they have made a "7 ERs in 7 days" tour for a toothache. The state has recently made prescriptions filled available via the internet for those who apply for a password.


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